Some pieces of news render me thoughtful and mellow. One of these was the passing of Ken Hensley on 4 November 2020, a key and founding member of Uriah Heep with a tenure of 10 years. A short while ago, we already had to digest the demise of Lee Kerslake after a long illness, and now this. Truly, 2020 will not stay in our memory as a good year.
Ah, it’s time for another one, ain’t it? A long time has passed since our last Heep review. And what better times than these difficult ones to write a new piece on one of the most underrated rock bands of all time.
And – of course – what immediately comes to mind is the year 1972. That is when the breakthrough record Demons and Wizards hit the shelves with a vengeance. And – more importantly – when Uriah Heep boasted one of their strongest lineups ever. David Byron, Ken Hensley, Mick Box, Lee Kerslake, and Gary Thain… [...] Click to raid more!
Towards the end of the ’70s, Uriah Heep lost their compass somewhat after their fulminant successes during the earlier years. Demons and Wizards, The Magician’s Birthday, or again Salisbury, all of them great records, were already behind them.
In between the band produced a bunch of somewhat unfocused and seemingly hastily assembled records that frankly pulled the overall quality of the offering down. And this tendency accelerated as the first decade of their career slowly came to an end.
Uriah Heep also had that knack to produce one or two hits in those aforementioned otherwise unremarkable albums. … [...] Click to raid more!
If you are looking to pick up some Uriah Heep records, there is no way around their 1972 piece Demons and Wizards. This one is probably one of the best, if not THE best album they made at that time. Or ever since for that matter, alongside The Magician’s Birthday, released surprisingly that same year.
And let’s not forget: The ’70s were the most productive set of years in the history of the band. On three occasions – 1971, 1972, and 1977 – Uriah Heep produced two albums. For each one of those years. And this is only for the studio albums, not counting the live … [...] Click to raid more!